THE BONE TREE (Penn Cage, Book 5) Paperback – 18 Jun 2015
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Praise for NATCHEZ BURNING:
“The thriller of the year, of the decade even … The first of a projected trilogy, Natchez Burning is Penn Cage’s fourth outing. But you don’t need to read its predecessors to be wholly consumed by this wonderful book. Buy, read, and marvel’ The Times
‘Terrific, engrossing’ Sunday Times
‘A tale that is both riveting in detail and amazing in its sheer scope’ Sun
‘Exciting, moving and inspirational’ Metro
‘Often seen as a John Grisham imitator, Iles clearly outperforms the master of the Deep South thriller in this angry yet engrossing novel’ Sunday Times
‘Extraordinarily entertaining and fiendishly suspenseful. I defy you to start it and find a way to put it down …This is an amazing work of popular fiction’ STEPHEN KING
‘I don't know how Iles did it, but every single one of the 700+ pages of NATCHEZ BURNING is a cliffhanger that will keep you devouring just one more chapter before you put it down to eat, work, or go to bed. A mystery rooted in the real-life racial divides of the Deep South, this ambitious, unique novel is the perfect marriage of a history lesson and a thriller. Greg? You owe me some sleep!’ JODI PICOULT
‘Natchez Burning is just flat-out terrific, written with all the fire of its title. With its scope and passion and its themes about race, violence, tradition, and the eternal smouldering anger of the South, it brings to mind Thomas Wolfe and William Faulkner, even while its cagey plot and restless energy keeps you flying through the pages. Greg Iles is back and truly better than ever’ SCOTT TUROW
Praise for previous Greg Iles novels:
‘A scorching read’ John Grisham
‘A rarity. A thriller that really thrills’ Stephen King
‘An incredible web of intrigue and suspense’ Clive Cussler
‘My favourite kind of novel … Ambitious in its scope and superbly satisfying in its execution’ Dan Brown
‘Iles is a great thriller writer’ Independent
From the Inside Flap
THE DARKEST TRUTHS WILL COME TO LIGHT
Former prosecutor Penn Cage faces the crisis of a lifetime. His family has been torn apart and his father made a fugitive after being accused of murdering an African-American nurse.
Now, Penn has unwittingly started a war with the Double Eagles, a violent faction of the KKK who know more about Dr. Tom Cage than Penn ever did.
Tracking his father through Natchez and beyond, Penn is targeted by criminals and corrupt police whose power reaches the top levels of state government - people who will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming out.
To clear Tom's name, Penn must either make a deal with the devil or destroy him. But there are others pursuing a different mission - one which will lead them to the 'Bone Tree', a legendary killing site that conceals far more than the remains of the dead.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Having now finished The Bone Tree, my opinion is that while it is not a bad book (I don't think Iles has it in him to write bad book), it is a book that, for the most part, left me disappointed. As a matter of fact the extent of my disappointment is such that, at this point in time, I am undecided as to whether I'll want to make the time investment to read the final book in the trilogy. However, given my sense of loyalty to Iles, there's a decent probability that I will change my mind when Unwritten Laws comes out in about a year or so.
So why was I disappointed? One reason is that the book at 816 pages (which was even a little longer than Natchez Burning) was much too long, given that very little action of consequence occurs between the characters until the last couple of hundred pages. As such, I found myself at times skimming through large passages. Much of the book is talk, talk, talk with little action and few surprises. A second reason for my disappointment is that I found the book's jumping around between the sub-stories of its many characters to be convoluted and distracting, but even more importantly, somewhat unbelievable. While I don't want to get into any details to avoid spoiling anything for the reader, I will say that the events between two of the main characters while at the bone tree, both of whom were in extremely dire straits, was so unbelievable that I found myself rolling my eyes in disbelief. A third reason for my lukewarm feeling for The Bone Tree is that I found myself starting to not care much for the main character and for several of the other "good guy" characters very much; realizing that there really was just a thin grey line between their actions and the "real bad guys." Finally, the last major reason for my feeling let down is that Iles spent so much time writing about who killed JFK and why without providing sufficient suspense and surprises to justify the amount of pages devoted to this event. For me, by the time the 'big reveal' is made known, my reaction was "big whup".
Look, I know that if you read and enjoyed Natchez Burning you are most likely going to want to read The Bone Tree no matter what my review says. Further, although hopefully not, some people reading this review are probably going to give it a "no/not helpful" vote because they don't want to believe what I've said is true. Nonetheless, I hope my review provides you with some food for thought to help in deciding if The Bone Tree is a book for you.
Note I didn't say get to the end.
I didn't expect the book to end - it is part 2 of a trilogy....unfortunately.
This book is far too long.
Natchez Burning was long also but at least we had the character intros and backstory to carry it.
The bone tree re-hashes a lot of this and really just adds more detail.
If part 3 was available today I wouldn't buy it.
I may feel differently in a years time but I doubt it.
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